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Honda pair aim to continue progress

The Honda Yuasa Racing team are confident of building on their first win of the 2014 British Touring Car Championship season at Donington Park as the paddocks heads to Thruxton this weekend.

Gordon Shedden claimed the team’s first victory with their Tourer model last time out with a thrilling overtake into the final corner on Colin Turkington, and the outfit are confident that they will be able  to maintain their front-running form at a circuit where they have a mixed past.

After breaking the duck in just the car’s sixth race outing, Shedden is now looking to add to his tally at one of the most technically difficult circuits on the calendar.

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“I’m really looking forward to Thruxton,” said Shedden, who is now just a point behind Andrew Jordan and Jason Plato who share the championship lead. “It’s a fantastic circuit and one that poses a genuine challenge. The racing is always very close with all the slip-streaming that goes on, and the number of quick corners means you really need to be at one with your car.

“The paradox is that although it’s the fastest circuit we go to, you don’t necessarily have to have the out-and-out fastest car to win there.

“As a driver, you tend to breathe a sigh of relief if you get to the end of the race at Thruxton and you’ve still got four tyres and some air pressure inside them! Historically, I’ve had a decent run there in the Civic hatchback and the Civic Tourer should be a pretty potent weapon, so I’m returning full of confidence.”

Three-time champion Matt Neal sealed third place behind his teammate in round six of the season, and was thrilled that the squad were able

“It was great to see ‘Flash’ break the duck with the new car at Donington,” Neal reflected. “That was really something special. I’ve always tried to take each weekend as it comes, and although it wasn’t a perfect one for me, I still scored a lot of points. To be close to the top but a little further down in the classification is a blessing in many ways – we’ll have less ballast on-board than our rivals, so we need to capitalise upon that.

The 47-year-old hopes that he can now match Shedden’s result heading to the Hampshire circuit, as he hopes his bad fortune at the track is now over.

“I love Thruxton, but weirdly, until last year it hadn’t been a place where I’d had a lot of luck. Last season there was amazing for me, though, and hopefully the aerodynamics of the Civic Tourer will suit the track. We did some testing over the winter which should help us a bit, but to be honest, the ambient temperatures were much colder so whilst it was great to get the track time, we’ll still have a lot to learn this weekend.”

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